100 MPH in an Aston Martin. On Ice.
Whether you’re a raised-in-Minnesota expert or a Southern Californian who can barely drive in the rain, two truths hold steady: One, a man should know what he’s doing behind the wheel in all conditions. Two, you haven’t lived until you’ve spun donuts in a $100k car.
Luckily there are tons of luxury ice-driving programs out there to help you boost your winter driving skills. Here are five that are more than worth the course fees.
Aston Martin On Ice
Crested Butte, Colorado
A custom-built ice track on a private ranch. For three days, members of the Driving Team will teach you how to masterfully slip, slide, drift, break, corner and slalom in a fleet of Aston Martins priced between $100k and $280k. Die Another Day, anyone? Gourmet meals and luxury accommodations to boot. Alternate plan: pair the one-day course with two days of Crested Butte skiing to create one legendary long weekend.
Available Dates: Three-day experience: February 19–21, one-day experience: February 19
Price: Three-day experience starting at $9,999, one-day experience $2,499.
Prefer a Porsche? Head north to the Mecaglisse circuit one hour north of Montreal. An icy track, a lineup of Cayman S and 911 Carrera 4S and expert instructors from the Porsche Sport Driving School await. You’ll start in the classroom learning about the physics of bad-weather-driving before spending four days on the track getting schooled on how to handle your whip like a pro. And if northern Quebec isn’t cold enough, Porsche’s Camp4 is also held annually in Levi, Finland — a ski town north of the Arctic Circle.
Available Dates: January 26–29, February 4–7
BMW Snow Basic Training
Picture it: you riding in a snowcat through the Austrian alps to 11 different winter driving tracks set on top of a glacier. Also: BMWs. Lots of them. It begins with a classroom lesson followed by a dinner and socializing in a wine cellar because chances are you’ll want to know the kind of people who take ice driving classes in Austria. Then you spend the whole next day practicing your skills. If that sounds a couple notches too tame for your level, check out BMW’s Snow Drift Training and Ice Perfection Training.
Available Dates: Various dates, January and February 2016
Ice Driving in the Southern Hemisphere
Queenstown, New Zealand
Come Spring thaw, maybe you’ve realized through trial and error that winter driving still isn’t your forte. Thankfully, there’s New Zealand, where winter is in August and those who drop the ball now can change their ways by next winter. Book your stay at the luxury Matakauri Lodge, who together with Over The Top organize helicopter transfers to a nearby mountaintop ice driving track.
Available Dates: Custom dates available from mid July through October 2016
Price: Starting at $4,931 (not including accommodations)
Bridgestone Winter Driving School
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Get legit with a tried-and-true education and join the 83,000 alumni of the Bridgestone Winter Driving School, where for over 30 years people of all backgrounds — including law enforcement, the Secret Service and the FBI — have honed their skills. Unless you already know your way around the ice, you’ll probably want to skip the advanced performance courses and start with Second Gear, which goes far enough beyond the basics but isn’t too devil-may-care. One training session later and you’ll get to spend four-and-a-half on-track hours behind the wheel of a Lexus.
Available Dates: Seven days a week between December 19, 2015 and March 6, 2016
– Trevor Morrow
See the world from your inbox.
Sign up for The Journey, our Travel newsletter.